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Lhuentse

The District of Lhuentse

In the northeastern corner of Bhutan lies the ancient region of Kurtoe or Lhuentse as it is known today. It is the ancestral home of our Kings and hosts several of the sacred sites of pilgrimage in the country. It is located 77km from Mongar (3 hours’ drive) and is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan.

The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. The region is famous for its weavers and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. Kurtoep women are especially adept at weaving a textile called Kishuthara. Eastern Bhutanese culture is distinctive in its high alcohol consumption in relation to other parts of Bhutan. Ara, the traditional alcohol of Bhutan, is most often home made from rice or maize, either fermented or distilled. It may only be legally produced and consumed privately.

Some of the attractions in the region include the Lhuentse Dzong, Khoma village (famous for weaving), Singye Dzong, the beyul Khenpajong and the Phunying Pass. The textile products of Khoma village in Lhuentse are stated to be the best in the country. The weaving handicraft looms are common sight in almost every household.

Most of Lhuentse district is part of the environmentally protected areas of Bhutan. The district contains parts of Wangchuck Centennial Park in the north, Thrumshingla National Park in the south and Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary in the east. These three parks are connected by biological corridors that crisscross the central and southern regions of the district.

Things to do in Lhuentse

Places of interests in and around Lhuentse, Eastern Bhutan
Lhuentse Dzong in Eastern Bhutan
Lhuentse Dzong in Eastern Bhutan
Lhuentse Dzong

This mighty fortress, popularly known as Lhundub Rinchentse sits upon a hill overlooking the Kurichu River.

It was constructed in 1654 by the Trongsa Penlop, Chogyal Minjur Tempa upon the site of an older temple built by Nagi Wangchuk in 1552. Today the dzong is the administrative and the religious centre of the district. It houses many sacred artifacts that were installed by the 4th Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgay.


The Village of Khoma

This village is located about two hours walk from the Dzong. It is a pleasant journey taking you over gentle slopes amongst pine trees. This village is known throughout the country for its signature woven textile, the Kishuthara. The women sit in a row of makeshift textile cottage, weaving intricate designs and patterns. Picking up a Kishuthara here will be much cheaper than buying it from one of the handicraft shops in the capital.


Dunkar Nagtsang - The ancestral home of the Kings of Bhutan
Dunkar Nagtsang – The ancestral home of the Kings of Bhutan
Dunkar Nagtsang

The house of Dungkar, one of the noble lineages from Kurtoe was home to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal, the father of the Wangchuck dynasty. It is located in Kurtoe Gewog.

Dungkar Naktshang, the ancient home of the Dungkar Choeje and the ancestral home of the Wangchuck Dynasty, stands amid a scenic backdrop of towering mountains overlooking the tiny Dungkar village below. There is a 40km dirt road from Lhuentse leading up to Dungkar Lhakhang. The Dungkar expedition is an exciting and magical voyage into Bhutan’s past.

Kilung Lhakhang

The tiny village of Kilung is a twenty-minute drive from the Dzong on the route towards Kurtoe Dungkhar. In the village you will come across the Kilung Lhakhang situated on a ridge overlooking the Kurichu River.

This village is inhabited by the Tshanglas who migrated and settled here during the late 1880’s.It was built on the former site of the Kilung Gyalpo, a regional chieftain. This temple houses the sacred chain mall that was once used to recapture a statue that miraculously flew away from the Lhuentse Dzong.


Jangchubling Dzong

This is another monastery that is definitely worth paying a visit. It was founded in the 18th century by Pekar Gyatso and until recently was under the patronage of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorji.

The daughter of the 1st King, Ashi Wangmo lived here at the monastery as a nun. The monastery is easily accessible from a feeder road.


The Village of Gangzur

Gangzur village is situated around 2 km from the Dzong. This village is famous for its pottery as its women folk are skilled artisans of this dying art. The Government is now making efforts to revive it through financial support. When in Gangzur you will definitely want to witness the women displaying their skills.


Guru Padmasambhava at Takila, Lhuentse in eastern Bhutan
World’s tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Takila, Lhuentse in eastern Bhutan.
Guru Statue at Takila, Tangmachu

A 154ft Guru statue is located at Takila under Menbi Gewog. The main statue was completed and consecrated in 2015. It was constructed with prophecies from Buddhist luminaries like Terton Lerab Lingpa and Dudjom Jidrel Yeshey Dorji. It is for the peace and prosperity of not only Bhutan but for the world in general.

The site is located 15kms drive away from Thinleypang/Tagmochu Chakzam.